You may often hear the term “German Giant Bearded Dragons” when looking for a credible breeder to purchase your new lizard from. These “giants” are from a selectively bred bloodline by German herpetologists, in which they focused primarily on producing very large versions of the P. vitticeps species. Because of their size, descendants of this bloodline are highly sought after in today’s pet trade. However, there is some controversy as to whether any true heirs still exist, making those labeled and sold as such, fake.
While American breeders were focusing on creating spectacular color morphs in the early days of captive beardie breeding, the Germans were busy creating a “super dragon” of sorts. There are two conflicting stories as to how this larger version of the vitticeps was created. One story claims that German herpetologists found particularly large P. vitticeps specimens in the Northwest regions of Australia. They then continued to collect the largest of these lizards, exported them to Germany and began to breed them. The second theory is that the same group of hepetologists cross-bred a P. vitticeps, with a P. barbata. Neither of these stories can be proven, nor denied, but it is widely agreed that one of the two are factual.
These abnormally large dragons can grow up to 30″ in length and 1000 grams in weight. Making them much larger, and nearly a half-foot longer than the average P. vitticeps. Along with size comes better health and hardiness. Gravid females will also lay larger clutches after breeding, with the largest on record consisting of 68 eggs! It was these facts that led to the downfall of legitimate GG specimens within America.
The United States did not see this special breed until the late 1980’s, to early 1990’s. It was then that the German-born herpetologist Peter Weiss imported the giant bloodline to his facilities in Florida. Weiss is credited with producing the “giant” bloodline that were made available to those in the United States.
Today, it is believed that true “German Giants” have been bred out of existence. At least in the States. Due to above-average strength, health and clutch size, the giants were commonly mated with normal vitticeps to increase their hardiness. thus diluting the bloodline with each generation. It is believed that there still may be some true GG’s found in Europe, but this has yet to be confirmed.
You will still see many breeders and owners claiming to have German Giant bearded dragons, but proof of these lizards growing to the “giant” proportions associated with authentic specimens, has yet to surface. You will commonly see pictures of dragons that are believed to possess this special bloodline, but again, these are commonly of baby or juvenile lizards. Unfortunately, unless there are still some true heirs to the throne residing in Germany, it appears that this “super beardie” has been lost forever.